The About the Patient program is offered by the North Dakota Pharmacy Service Corporation, an organization dedicated to forming a network of pharmacy providers that can provide services to entities throughout North Dakota and beyond. The focus of the program is on wellness and prevention of complications of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and others.
The About the Patient program launched in July 2008 with a network of pharmacists providing services at over 80 different pharmacy locations throughout North Dakota. The initial program offered was a diabetes management program utilized by two statewide health groups. Over 350 individuals have received care through the program. Positive health outcomes have already been demonstrated in participating patients.
The program focuses on offering direct, face-to-face interaction between pharmacists and patients to empower the patient to self-manage and improve their health. It uses best practices and national standards to develop comprehensive programs. There is a Clinical Coordinator that provides program oversight and administration to ensure an effective, consistent program. A central data management software system is used by all network providers for data collection. The program website offers a variety of valuable health and medical information as well as blogs for patients to start online discussions regarding their health.
Pharmacists can play an even greater role in the provision of healthcare than they currently provide. For the past 15 years, the entry level degree for pharmacists, the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), has focused on preparing pharmacists as clinicians able to interpret results, understand the physiology of disease, and its treatment. Other pharmacists that entered the practice prior to the PharmD have gained additional education and skills to equal that of their colleagues. In North Dakota, and many other states, pharmacists can provide health screenings, medication therapy management, disease state management, immunizations, and other services.
Pharmacists are in a unique position to provide wellness services. As mentioned above, they have the knowledge to provide these services. In addition, they are one of the most accessible health care professions with most pharmacies now being open into the evening hours and on weekends to accommodate the needs of their patients. Pharmacists are always near the top of the list of most trusted professionals in the annual Gallop poll. There are also numerous studies showing the positive health and financial outcomes of pharmacist led programs.
Pharmacists are also at the hub of healthcare collaboration. They serve as a “Medication Home” for their patients; often reconciling medications from multiple prescribers and assessing for any potential interactions or adverse effects. This allows the pharmacist to work with the patient and their other caregivers to optimize their medication therapy.
Quarterly and annual reports are included. More frequent or custom reporting is available for an additional fee. Aggregated patient demographics, outcomes, HRA results, website traffic, MTM/DSM interactions with their provider and their results, member incentives, and patient satisfaction are included in our standard reports. Return on investment and independent analysis are also available.